FROM, ESPN: ESPN staffer Fay Wells is blogging for W from Ethiopia, where she’s currently traveling and casing out the lay of the sports land:
About three weeks ago, I decided to visit Ethiopia to see my friend Colin, who is doing some high-altitude running training, and to learn more about some of my family’s origins. I left last Friday. The trip started off a little rocky Stateside, with me spending part of the morning of my flight trying to get my car unstuck between two sheets of ice in New York City. However, it quickly improved with three uneventful flights and a warm Ethiopian greeting in Addis Ababa (or Addis, as the locals call it) from Colin and Semere, one of his new local Ethiopian friends.
It was pretty late when I finally made it through customs — around midnight or later — but jetlag kicked in and I was up for a bit of exploring. So after we dropped my bags at Almaz Pension, the guest house where I was staying near the Bole area of Addis Ababa, we headed out to quickly grab some water and snacks.
Three hours later, I found myself in watering hole Sami’s, watching a local Ethiopian soccer game on television and talking sports. I love to play, and so asked about the basketball and soccer scenes here. Eyob, another friend of Colin’s from Addis, told me there were soccer games all over Addis, but that women didn’t really play. He didn’t know exactly why they didn’t play, but he wasn’t against it. In fact, he invited me to come play pickup with him and his friends. I just had to pick a day. I hadn’t quite mapped out my time in Addis, but I was psyched for the invite and knew I was definitely going to find some time to work in pickup.
All in all, a great kick off of my Ethiopian adventure.